.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2015
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com


GOOD FRIDAY – A PARABLE OF PARABLES
.                              – written by Tanis Harms

PREMISE:      As Jesus tells the people parables,
.             the parables are acted out
.             in a modern office scenario
.             to relay the gospel message
STYLE:        drama with vignettes
TOPIC:        gospel message
SCRIPTURE:    Mt.13:34-35; Mt.18:3-4; Mt.13:3-9;
.             Mt.13:24-30; Lk.13:1-9; Mt.21:28-31;
.             Mt.18:21-35; Lk.12:35-48; Mk.2:21;
.             Mt.18:15-35; Lk.14:16-24; Lk.17:7-10;
.             Mt.25:14-30; Mt.21:33-46; Mk.8:31;
.             Mt.13:45-46 (all scripture taken from NAS)
NOTES:        
for CAST, SET, PROPS, SONG

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SCRIPT:

JIM’S VOICE   All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds
.             in parables, and He did not speak to them
.             without a parable.  This was to fulfill
.             what was spoken through the prophet:
.             "I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL
.             UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION
.             OF THE WORLD."         (Matthew 13:34-35)

.             CENTER STAGE / INTRODUCTION

(MARGARET comes out from stage right/Old Testament side
while TRISH enters from stage left/modern times.
TRISH carries a briefcase and purse, while MARGARET
carries a basket.  The two women meet in the middle
while staying in their perspective eras and personas.)

TRISH         Hi Margaret.

MARGARET      Trish!

TRISH         So how’s your day going?
.                                                        2
MARGARET      Do not even ask.  But since you asked,
.             I will tell you.  Laundry is piling up,
.             the house is a mess, but with what?
.             I cannot say, since I am out of everything
.             and need to go to the market-

TRISH         So you’re having a bad day.

MARGARET      Bad?  A bad day?  It would have
.             to get better for it to be just a bad day.
.             This day could not get any worse.
.             I cannot begin to tell you.
.             If only we were back in the good old days.
.             Perhaps then I could afford a servant.

TRISH         Good old days?  I’m afraid those days
.             are long gone.  Times keep changing.
.             We just have to keep up with the times,
.             or we lose out.

MARGARET      But the good old days – had –

TRISH         Had what?  Had nothing to offer.
.             Everything from back then is old fashion.
.             Out dated.  Irrelevant.  There’s nothing
.             from the past that really applies today.
.             Everything changes.

MARGARET      I just wish things would change
.             for the better.

TRISH         Isn’t that what we all strive toward?

(CHILD 1 enters stage right and rushes up to MARGARET.)

CHILD 1       Mommy, Mommy!  He’s here.  We have to go!

MARGARET      Now what?  Could this day get any worse?

CHILD 1       It’s Jesus.  Jesus has come to our town.
.             PLEASE let us go and listen to Him.
.             He teaches people, and tells stories.

(CHILD 1 clasps hands at chin in a begging pose
and freezes waiting for MARGARET to say ‘yes.’
While MARGARET sighs and thinks...)
.                                                      3
TRISH         (waves this off)  Stories!?
.             Who has time for stories?
.             I have better things to do, like working
.             on my career!  I need to get to work!

(TRISH rushes off stage left while looking at the time.)

MARGARET      (to CHILD 1)  She’s right.  What good can
.             possibly come from listening to stories?

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

(Meanwhile, JESUS enters at stage right surrounded by
a mob of MEN.  PHARISEES stand to the back as MEN bombard
JESUS with questions.  JESUS keeps his back to audience.)

MAN 1         Why are we talking about weeds?

MAN 2         I still do not understand what stories
.             about slaves and servants
.             have to do with our obedience to God.

MAN 1         What do weeds have to do with anyone’s
.             spirituality?  Is this a symbol
.             to mean something else?

MAN 2         We would just like you to speak plainly.

(Hearing the voices as the men start with questions,
CHILD 1 turns and points to JESUS.)

CHILD 1       See, Mom, there He is.  There’s Jesus now.
.             We need to see Him.

MARGARET      This is not going to help make my day
.             any better.

CHILD 1       But it will.  I know it will.

(CHILD 1 takes MARGARET’S hand and pulls her
toward the group.  OTHER CHILDREN join.  
MAN 1 curtly approaches CHILDREN and MARGARET.)

MAN 1         What do you want?  You are all
.             interrupting a very important meeting.

CHILD 1       We just want to see Jesus.                4

MAN 1         This is not for children!
.             Children should be seen and not heard.

JESUS         Let the children come to Me...

(JESUS keeps talking as CHILDREN rush over to him.
JESUS touches their faces tenderly.  Then, as JESUS
sits down on the bench, keeping His back to audience,
he motions for CHILDREN to sit down in front of him.
CHILDREN eagerly sit and lap up every word he speaks.
Whenever JESUS speaks, it is more important that we see
the different reactions of all the people.  The CHILDREN
are always very interested.  MARGARET and the MEN
are skeptical and/or confused but slowly become curious.
PHARISEES are always indignant, agitated and scheming.)

JESUS         Truly I say to you, unless you are
.             converted and become like children,
.             you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
.             Whoever then humbles himself as this child,
.             he is the greatest in the kingdom
.             of heaven.

(MEN balk at all of this.  MAN 1 glares back at MARGARET
who smiles and holds her ground to watch over her child.
MARGARET is more pleased that JESUS is not allowing
the MEN to push her or the children around.)

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(TRISH enters at stage left, still studying the time
when her cellphone rings.  She checks her cellphone
to see who is calling.  Rolling her eyes,
she quickly answers it.)

TRISH         I’ve told you not to call me at work!
.             Mommy is very busy with more important
.             things.  Well, what do you want now?...
.             I don’t know.  How is that urgent?...
.             No!  Figure out something else.  Please!
.             Let’s talk about this later.
.             Bye-bye.

(TRISH exits.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES         5

PHARISEE      Are you saying that unless one is a child,
.             we cannot understand anything You say?
.             No matter how educated one is?!

(WOMAN and others join GROUP as JESUS tells next parable,
while action is played out at stage left.)

JESUS         Behold, the sower went out to sow;
.             and as he sowed –

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(Carrying a briefcase, JIM enters lower stage left
and walks to upper stage while making observations
of each of the 4 desks.  He then stops to watch
from upper stage left.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

JESUS         Some seeds fell beside the road,
.             and the birds came and ate them up.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(RANDY quickly enters and slumps down into the front desk
toward left center stage.  Begrudgingly, RANDY goes
to work without ever acknowledging JIM.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

JESUS         Others fell on the rocky places,
.             where they did not have much soil;
.             and immediately they sprang up,
.             because they had no depth of soil.
.             But when the sun had risen,
.             they were scorched; and because
.             they had no root, they withered away.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(ANITA enters with great importance, totally
ignoring RANDY as she walks past and towards upper stage.
As ANITA settles in at her desk at upper stage left,
she smiles broadly and waves at JIM.  JIM nods back.)  

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES         6

JESUS         Others fell among the thorns,
.             and the thorns came up
.             and choked them out.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(TRISH enters in a flurry and hurries to settle
into her desk at lower stage left.  Remembering,
she glances back at JIM to give him a hasty nod,
then tries to secretly check her cellphone before
getting to work on her laptop.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

JESUS         And others fell on the good soil
.             and yielded a crop,
.             some a hundredfold,
.             some sixty, and some thirty...

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(BILL enters and waves or nods at each person
as he walks toward upper stage.  BILL pauses to
shake hands with JIM, then sits down at his desk
at upper stage right, intently getting right to work.  
ALL freeze where they are.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

JESUS         He who has ears, let him hear.

MAN 2         (shaking his head)  I am trying.

PHARISEE      (grandly)  So only SOME of us are worthy.

MAN 1         Must we be like these Pharisees, then?

PHARISEE      To be righteous, one must obey and live
.             by our laws.  So yes, you should do
.             as we Pharisees do.

JESUS         Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees...

(PEOPLE look at the PHARISEES with curiosity,
who balk indignantly at this statement.)
.                                                       7
JESUS         The kingdom of heaven may be compared
.             to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
.             But while his men were sleeping, his enemy
.             came and sowed weeds among the wheat,
.             and went away.  But when the wheat sprouted
.             and bore grain, then the weeds became
.             evident also.  The slaves of the landowner
.             came and said to him, “Sir, did you not sow
.             good seed in your field?  How then
.             does it have weeds?”  And he said to them,
.             “An enemy has done this!” The slaves asked,
.             “Do you want us, then, to go and
.             gather them up?”  But he said, “No;
.             for while you are gathering up the weeds,
.             you may uproot the wheat with them.
.             Allow both to grow together until
.             the harvest; and in the time of the harvest
.             I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather up
.             the weeds and bind them in bundles
.             to burn them up;  but gather the wheat
.             into my barn.’”

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(TRISH looks up from her laptop, slyly checking to see if
anyone is watching.  Slipping a stapler into her purse,
she then goes back to work.  RANDY looks over at her.)

RANDY         Pst.  I saw what you did?

TRISH         Oh, and you have never taken anything?

RANDY         I plead the fifth.

TRISH         Well, I know you’re not going to report me
.             since I’ve always got your back.

RANDY         I’ll keep that in mind.

(While TRISH and RANDY go back to work,
ANITA picks up a clipboard and approaches JIM.)

ANITA         Jim, I have been going over
.             the performance records of all employees.
.             I am this close to recommending that
.             you just fire everyone and start all over.
.                                                       8
JIM           Anita, you know that this is not
.             the answer.  If I just fired everyone,
.             I would be losing a lot of good employees
.             along with the bad.

ANITA         Alright, I guess I’ll start working on
.             scenarios for a possible re-org.

(Unimpressed, ANITA goes to sit down at her desk.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

MAN 1         But there are people, even leaders,
.             who have done terrible things to others.
.             Surely they deserve death!

MARGARET      Yes, like Pilate, who had those Galileans
.             killed while they were at the temple,
.             worshiping God.  How tragic.  Did those
.             Galileans deserve to die like that?
.             I mean, where is the justice?
.             Does God not care?

PHARISEE      How can women and children understand!
.             Obviously those Galileans deserved to die.
.             They probably had great sin in their lives
.             which justified their brutal deaths.

JESUS         Do you suppose that these Galileans were
.             greater sinners than all other Galileans
.             because they suffered this fate?
.             I tell you, no, but unless you repent,
.             you will all likewise perish...
.             A man had a fig tree which had been planted
.             in his vineyard;  and he came looking
.             for fruit on it and did not find any.
.             And he said to the vineyard-keeper,
.             “Behold, for three years I have come
.             looking for fruit on this fig tree
.             without finding any.  Cut it down!
.             Why does it even use up the ground?”
.             And he answered and said to him,
.             “Let it alone, sir, for this year too,
.             until I dig around it and put in
.             fertilizer;  and if it bears fruit
.             next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.”
.                                                       9
.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(ANITA gets up from her desk again to show JIM a report.)

ANITA         Okay, here is my new proposal.  There is
.             clear evidence that productivity is down
.             in these areas.  Why would you NOT
.             want to shut down at least this department?

JIM           It has only been a while since we
.             implemented this particular business team.
.             I say that we give them a little more time
.             to prove themselves.  People can change.
.             Meanwhile, we need to help facilitate
.             their success.  Perhaps a few training
.             courses to better educate and equip them.

ANITA         I don’t really see the point, but
.             I will crunch those numbers to see
.             what that would cost in the long run.

(Shaking her head, ANITA returns to her desk.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

PHARISEE      It is hopeless!  Most people do not deserve
.             second chances.  No matter how many times
.             we try to teach them, they simply choose
.             to disobey the laws whenever they can.

MAN 2         I – I try to obey the laws.

PHARISEE      You just admitted that you only TRY.
.             But you do not DO, as told.

JESUS         What do you think?  A man had two sons,
.             and he came to the first and said,
.             “Son, go work today in the vineyard.”
.             And he answered, “I will not”;
.             but afterward he regretted it and went.
.             The man came to the second son and said
.             the same thing; and he answered,
.             “I will, sir”;  but he did not go.
.             Which of the two did the will
.             of his father?  

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES                10

(JIM approaches BILL.)

JIM           Bill, remember that your monthly report
.             is due early today.

BILL          Sorry, Jim, I just don’t have the time.

(JIM moves over to RANDY.)

JIM           Randy, I also need you to get your report-

RANDY         Sure thing, boss.  Right away.

(While JIM goes back to where he’s been standing,
RANDY turns his back away and dials out on cellphone
to have a seemingly personal conversation.
BILL sees this and suddenly feels badly.  
BILL quickly writes something on a few papers,
staples them together, then brings them to JIM.)

BILL          Here’s the report you asked for, Jim.
.             I apologize.  I should’ve done the project
.             right away when you asked for it.

JIM           Thank you, Bill.  And, apology accepted.

(BILL returns to his desk.  JIM sees that RANDY is
still on his cellphone, and approaches RANDY again.)

JIM           Randy, how’s that report coming along?

(RANDY rolls his eyes, before he looks away from
his cellphone and up back at JIM.)

RANDY         Oh, yeah, it’s coming along.  Don’t worry.

(RANDY goes back to his cellphone conversation with
JIM still standing there.)

RANDY         So, progress report, let’s talk about that.

(RANDY looks back at JIM and nods, then ignores JIM.)

RANDY         (still on cellphone)  Just kidding...
.             Yeah, seriously, explain that to me.
.                                                      11
.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

(Although nervous, WOMAN is sincere in her question.)

WOMAN         Do good intentions
.             not count for something?

MAN 1         I would think so.
.             I would HOPE so.

PHARISEE      You people need to try harder.
.             God expects perfection, does He not?!

JESUS         No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth
.             on an old garment; otherwise the patch
.             pulls away from it, the new from the old,
.             and a worse tear results.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(JIM is still standing beside RANDY.)

JIM           Randy, I need to give you a warning.
.             If we don’t see any changes
.             in your work ethics,
.             something will have to be done.

RANDY         Sure-sure, sure thing, boss.

(RANDY waits for JIM to walk away,
then continues to talk on the cellphone,
but now he shuffles papers around and
types on his laptop to look busy.
TRISH shakes her head.)

RANDY         Okay, I’m back again.  That was just my boss.
.             I just need to look busy, here...
.             No-no, you’re not interrupting anything.
.             Now what were you saying about that party?

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

MAN 1         But, just how many times are we supposed
.             to keep forgiving those who keep
.             hurting us?  Up to – what?
.             Seven times?
.                                                      12
JESUS         I do not say to you, up to seven times,
.             but up to seventy times seven...
.             For this reason the kingdom of heaven
.             may be compared to a king who wished
.             to settle accounts with his slaves.
.             When he had begun to settle them,
.             one who owed him ten thousand talents
.             was brought to him.  But since he
.             did not have the means to repay,
.             his lord commanded him to be sold,
.             along with his wife and children and
.             all that he had, as repayment to be made.
.             So the slave fell to the ground and
.             prostrated himself before him, saying,
.             “Have patience with me and I will
.             repay you everything.”  And the lord
.             of that slave felt compassion and
.             released him and forgave him the debt.
.             But that slave went out and found one
.             of his fellow slaves who owed him
.             only a hundred denarii;  and he seized him
.             and began to choke him, saying,
.             “Pay back what you owe.”  His fellow slave
.             fell to the ground and began to plead
.             with him, saying, “Have patience with me
.             and I will repay you.” But he was unwilling
.             and went and threw him into prison
.             until he could pay back what was owed.
.             All this was reported back to their lord.
.             Then summoning him,  his lord said,
.             “You wicked slave, I forgave you
.             all that debt because you pleaded with me.
.             Should you not also have had mercy on
.             your fellow slave, in the same way
.             that I had mercy on you?”  And his lord,
.             moved with anger, handed him over to the
.             torturers until he should repay all that
.             was owed.  My heavenly Father will also do
.             the same to you, if each of you does not
.             forgive his brother from your heart.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(JIM walks past RANDY, who quickly hangs up
his cellphone.  Looking around, he realizes that
he has not finished his report.)
.                                                      13
RANDY         Oh, ah, sorry Jim.  I didn’t get around
.             to doing that report.  Sorry.

JIM           You’re forgiven.  Now, please, next time,
.             when you say you are going to do something,
.             please follow through.

(JIM walks away and exits.  RANDY looks over at TRISH.)

TRISH         What?

RANDY         Why didn’t you warn me that Jim was
.             right here?  You knew what I had to do.
.             YOU could have stepped up and got it done.

TRISH         Why is it my job to make sure that
.             you’re doing your own job?

RANDY         I thought we had each other’s back.
.             You JUST said that you had my back.
.             I don’t know if I can ever trust you again.

TRISH         I’m sorry.

RANDY         Too late.

TRISH         No, really, I’m sorry.

RANDY         Seriously, unforgiveable.

(TRISH gives RANDY a dirty look.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

MAN 2         Is it ever too late?

PHARISEE      Some people are born late.

MARGARET      I think I understand.  I think.  I mean,
.             THERE is my child. And I like to think that
.             my child is perfect, but we all know that
.             no one is perfect.  But no matter what
.             my child does, I forgive because he/she is
.             always my child.  And I hope that my child
.             will live in such a way as to honor me.

PHARISEE      All I can hear is babbling.              14
.             Women and children should keep quiet.
.             You will not learn otherwise.

MAN 2         But, what she said, is that how it is?
.             Or must we live in fear and hopelessness?

JESUS         Be dressed in readiness, and keep your
.             lamps lit.  Be like men who are waiting
.             for their master when he returns
.             from the wedding feast, so that they
.             may immediately open the door to him
.             when he comes and knocks.  Blessed are
.             those slaves whom the master will find
.             on the alert when he comes;  truly
.             I say to you, that he will gird himself
.             to serve, and have them recline
.             at the table, and will come up and wait
.             on them.  Whether he comes in the
.             second watch, or even in the third, and
.             finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
.             But be sure of this, that if the head
.             of the house had known at what hour
.             the thief was coming, he would not have
.             allowed his house to be broken into.
.             You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is
.             coming at an hour that you do not expect...
.             Who then is the faithful and sensible
.             steward, whom his master will put in charge
.             of his servants, to give them their rations
.             at the proper time?  Blessed is that slave
.             whom his master finds so doing when
.             he comes.  Truly I say to you that he will
.             put him in charge of all his possessions.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(RANDY makes a paper airplane and sails it toward TRISH.
TRISH tries to catch it and collect it, then crumples
it up to throw into a trash bin.)

TRISH         Randy, seriously.  Did you want to get
.             both of us in trouble?

(JIM suddenly enters office area from upper stage left.
RANDY quickly jumps to his laptop and pretends to work,
as JIM walks up to BILL.)
.                                                      15
JIM           Bill.  Since I asked you to work
.             on your efficiency as well as
.             your communication skills, I must say,
.             I have noticed a difference already.

BILL          Thank you.  I really want to continue
.             working to the best of my abilities.

(ANITA, TRISH and RANDY all roll their eyes.  JIM then
appears behind RANDY and looks over his shoulder.)

JIM           Randy, your productivity has really been
.             falling behind.  I’m hoping that you’ll
.             step up and be a little more diligent.

RANDY         Sure.  Whatever you say.

(ANITA stands up to gain attention, but does not.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

PHARISEE      I am beginning to think that you
.             do not see us Pharisees as being faithful
.             or worthy of your attention.
.             If you are a man of God as you claim,
.             you would want to spend your time with us,
.             the spiritual leaders.  And yet,
.             you snub us.  Instead of dining with us
.             in luxury, you choose to eat with sinners.
.             Why bother with those who are lost?
.             They are not important.  They do not
.             deserve such attention.

JESUS         What do you think?  If any man has
.             a hundred sheep, and one of them
.             has gone astray, does he not leave
.             the ninety-nine on the mountains and go
.             and search for the one that is straying?
.             If it turns out that he finds it,
.             truly I say to you, he rejoices over it
.             more than - over the ninety-nine
.             which have not gone astray.
.             So it is NOT the will of your Father
.             who is in heaven that one
.             of these little ones perish.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES                16

(JIM hands BILL a paper.)

JIM           Everyone, I want you to know that I have
.             promoted Bill to be team leader as of
.             today.  As I have mentioned before,
.             his hard work has not gone unnoticed.
.             And he accepts feedback very well,
.             always applying it.  So, good job.

(ALL clap politely.  Then after JIM exits,
ANITA becomes indignant.)

ANITA         WHAT?!  Why do YOU get promoted?
.             I work just as hard as you!

(TRISH laughs and comments more to herself,
while still facing forward and typing.)

TRISH         You definitely work hard at schmoozing.
.             Maybe if you worked that hard
.             on your projects-

BILL          Well, as long as we all work together
.             as a team-

ANITA         Oh!  Who are YOU to give me instructions!

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

MAN 2         (to JESUS)  So it does not matter what
.             I have done in the past?  No matter what?

PHARISEE      Everything matters.  Why do you think
.             God gave us the law?  God notices and
.             keeps track of everything.  And so do we.
.             And we have our suspicions that you have
.             had an affair.  It is only a matter of time
.             before we catch you and have you stoned.

MAN 2         But Jesus says that even committing
.             adultery in your heart is wrong.
.             Can you honestly admit that your heart
.             is pure?

PHARISEE      My heart is purer than yours.
.                                                      17
MAN 2         How you can you see into my heart?
.             That is something only God can do.
.             But knowing that God can see into my heart,
.             does God still care about me?

JESUS         A man was giving a big dinner, and he had
.             invited many.  At the dinner hour he sent
.             his slave to those who had been invited,
.             “Come; for everything is ready now.”
.             But they all alike began to make excuses.
.             The first one said to him, “I have bought
.             a piece of land and I need to go out and
.             look at it;  please consider me excused.”
.             Another one said, “I have bought five yoke
.             of oxen, and I am going to try them out;
.             please consider me excused.”
.             Another one said, “I have married a wife,
.             and for that reason I cannot come.”
.             And the slave came back and reported this
.             to his master.  The master became angry
.             and said to his slave, “Go out at once
.             into all the streets of the city and
.             bring here - the poor, the crippled, the
.             blind and the lame.”  And the slave said,
.             “Master, what you commanded has been done,
.             and still there is room.”  And the master
.             said to the slave,  “Go out into
.             the highways and along the hedges,
.             and compel them to come in, so that
.             my house may be filled.  For I tell you,
.             none of those men who were invited
.             shall taste of my dinner.”

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES

(JIM enters to make an announcement to the office.)

JIM           Attention everyone.  There are a few
.             new positions available in the firm.
.             These have been specifically created
.             for those of you who work in this
.             department in order to further you along
.             in your careers as well as in the company.
.             And to fill these positions, I am offering
.             a free training course.  By a show
.             of hands, may I see who is interested?
.                                                      18
(BILL stands up and raises his hand.)

ANITA         Ahhh, actually, I feel that those positions
.             are probably beneath me.  I’ll pass.

TRISH         Thanks, but no thanks.  I’m going to
.             work my way to the top using my own plan
.             of action and gain it by my own merits.

RANDY         Not interested.  Sounds like more work
.             to me.

JIM           (to BILL)  Very well, could you spread
.             the word out there to let people know we are
.             hiring.  It includes on-the-job training.

(BILL nods and exits downstage left.)

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

MAN 1         So we do have the honor of being invited?
.             Is it based on how hard men work?

MARGARET      And what about the women?  Just how much -
.             must the wives be doing for their husbands?
.             Where is our invitation?

PHARISEE      Do not complain.  It is expected of you.
.             Us Pharisees work the hardest of all.
.             Where is our honor right now?

JESUS         Which of you, having a slave plowing
.             or tending sheep, will say to him
.             when he has come in from the field,
.             “Come immediately and sit down to eat”?
.             But will he not say to the slave,
.             “Prepare something for me to eat,
.             and properly clothe yourself and serve me;
.             and afterward you may eat and drink”?
.             He does not thank the slave because he did
.             the things which were commanded, does he?
.             So you too, when you do all the things
.             which are commanded you, should say,
.             “We are unworthy slaves;  we have done
.             only that which we ought to have done.”

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES                19

(RANDY puts a stack of papers onto TRISH’S desk
then returns to his desk.  TRISH glares over at RANDY.)

TRISH         Seriously.  I am tired of pulling my weight
.             AND covering for you.

RANDY         We’re a team, remember?  Besides,
.             I pull my share of the weight.

TRISH         You hardly do the bare minimum.

RANDY         I do what’s expected of me.
.             And no more than that because
.             we’re never shown any appreciation
.             and we’ll never get ahead.

TRISH         That’s not true, and you know it.
.             Jim is the best boss I’ve ever had.
.             Besides, our paychecks should be
.             ‘thank you’ enough, don’t you think?

(TRISH eyes the papers from RANDY and shakes her head.
BILL enters with several RECRUITS and approaches JIM.)

JIM           Ah, new recruits.  Wonderful.

(JIM shakes hands with RECRUITS and motions for them
and BILL to exit at upper stage left, then makes
an announcement to RANDY, TRISH and ANITA.)

JIM           I will be busy with orientation
.             for the rest of the afternoon,
.             so I trust you will keep working
.             to get your projects up to date.

ANITA         Of course.

TRISH         Sure.

RANDY         (mumbling)  Whatever you say.

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

MAN 1         Again, I do what I can.  But just how long
.             are we expected to serve?
.                                                      20
MARGARET      Yes, I am getting rather tired of it all.
.             I work very hard to serve my family.

PHARISEE      Please, you all are lazy and do not know
.             the meaning of serving.  Like the servants
.             at my house.  They try to do as little
.             work as possible, so I must deal with them.

JESUS         It is just like a man about to go
.             on a journey, who called his own slaves
.             and entrusted his possessions to them...
.             Now after a long time the master returned
.             and settled accounts.  The slave who had
.             received five talents, brought five more,
.             saying, “Master, you entrusted five talents
.             to me.  See, I invested those and gained
.             five more.”  The master said to him,
.             “Well done, good and faithful slave,
.             you were faithful with a few things,
.             I will put you in charge of many things;
.             enter into the joy of your master.”  Also
.             the one who had received two talents, said,
.             “Master, you entrusted two talents to me.
.             See, I have gained two more talents.”
.             The master also rewarded and praised him.
.             Then the slave who had received one talent
.             came and said, “Master, I knew you to be
.             a hard man, reaping where you did not sow
.             and gathering where you scattered no seed.
.             And I was afraid, and went away and hid
.             your talent in the ground.  See,
.             you have what is yours.”  But the master
.             answered and said to him, “You wicked, lazy
.             slave, you could have at least put my money
.             in the bank, and on my arrival I would
.             have received my money back with interest.
.             This talent will now be taken from you and
.             given to the one who has the ten talents.”
.             To everyone who has, more shall be given,
.             and he will have an abundance;  but from
.             the one who does not have, even what he
.             does have shall be taken away.  Throw out
.             the worthless slave into the outer darkness
.             in that place there will be weeping
.             and gnashing of teeth.

.             STAGE LEFT / MODERN TIMES                21

(TRISH leans back to look at RANDY’S laptop.)

TRISH         Have you just been playing computer games
.             all this time?

RANDY         What’s the big deal?  As long as
.             I don’t get caught, who’s going to know?

TRISH         Aren’t we getting paid to work?

RANDY         We’re getting paid a little bit of money
.             so guys like Jim can make way more money.
.             So why should I work hard for someone else?
.             Huh?  Now shush, I’ve almost beat my score.

(As BILL and JIM enter, RANDY hunches over his laptop
to block his screen.)

BILL          I’m really enjoying the training course,
.             Jim.  I can understand the marketable value.

(JIM sees what RANDY is doing and approaches.)

JIM           Randy?

RANDY         Oh-ah, just taking a little bit of a break.
.             There are laws about that, you know.
.             Every few hours, we get so many minutes-

JIM           Except that the I.T. department can see
.             exactly what you’re doing on your computer
.             at all times.  And I.T. has just informed me
.             that you’ve been playing this game
.             for two hours now.

RANDY         Sorry?

JIM           Randy, you’ve had enough warnings.  This
.             time, we are going to have to let you go.

RANDY         I’m fired?!  You’re firing me?!

JIM           Please clean out your personal effects-

RANDY         Fine!
.                                                      22
(RANDY throws his pen down, grabs his briefcase
and exits stage left.)

TRISH         (angry)  Great.  More work for me.

JIM           Hang in there, Trish.  (exits)

(TRISH sighs and collapses on her desk.)

TRISH         Could this day get any worse?!

BILL          (tries to encourage)  It’s Good Friday.

TRISH         WHAT is so good about it?

.             STAGE RIGHT / NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

PHARISEE      (to JESUS)  We are watching you.  The first
.             mistake that you make – will be your last.
.             Do not think that you can give us
.             the slip forever.

(PHARISEES exit haughtily.  MEN and MARGARET show fear,
then turn back to JESUS with concern.)

MAN 1         You have mentioned something before
.             about how the Son of Man must suffer
.             and be killed, and after three days –
.             rise again?  What... what did you mean?

JESUS         (gravely)  Listen to another parable.
.             There was a landowner who planted
.             a vineyard and put a wall around it and
.             dug a wine press in it, and built a tower,
.             and rented it out to vine-growers
.             and went on a journey for a long time.
.             When the harvest time approached,
.             he sent his slaves to the vine-growers
.             to receive his produce.  The vine-growers
.             took his slaves - and beat one -
.             and killed another, and stoned a third.
.             Again he sent another group of slaves
.             larger than the first; and they did
.             the same thing to them.  But afterward
.             he sent his son to them, saying,
.             “They will respect my son.”
.                                                      23
(JESUS gets up and exits.  PEOPLE slowly follow.
PHARISEES lurk in the background then follow behind.)

JESUS’ VOICE  But when the vine-growers saw the son,
.             they said among themselves, “This is
.             the heir;  come, let us kill him and
.             seize his inheritance.”  They took him,
.             and threw him out - of the vineyard...

.             CENTER STAGE / CONCLUSION

(Either a slide is project on a back screen or live,
a silhouette of JESUS on the cross appears.  Slowly,
the CHILDREN go to the cross to kneel before it.)

JIM’S VOICE   and killed him.  Therefore when the owner
.             of the vineyard comes, what will he do
.             to those vine-growers?...
.             THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
.             THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone;
.             THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD,
.             AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES...

(With joy, BILL and JIM approach cross to kneel.)

SONG:         begins, sing or play something like
.             “Overcome” by Jeremy Camp
.             and during the intro...

(MAN 2 and MARGARET approach cross and kneel.)

JESUS’ VOICE  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like
.             a merchant seeking fine pearls,
.             and upon finding one pearl of great value,
.             he went and sold all that he had
.             and bought it.

(While JESUS’ VOICE is playing, TRISH slowly lifts
her head up from her desk and looks up with curiosity.  
Seeing the cross and JESUS on it, she has humility and
a new sense of hope.  TRISH walks to center stage...)
As TRISH looks up at the cross, she sinks to her knees.
Then MAN 1 and MARGARET approach, falling to their knees.)

INTRO IS OVER, AND AS SONG IS SUNG-

(TRISH sees CHILD 1 rushing over to MARGARET to hug,    24
and then together they both continue to worship.
TRISH starts to wave, recognizing MARGARET,
but then looks over at the other CHILDREN.
As if suddenly remembering, she frantically dials out on
her cellphone while still looking around frantically.  
MODERN CHILD holding a cellphone up to his/her ear
rushes on to hug TRISH and admire the cross, then kneels.
You can add as many people to this scene as you want.
ALL can sing or simply remain kneeling to Jesus
on the cross.  At the end of the song, have a BLACK OUT.)

(When lights come back on, have the empty cross.
This is where PASTOR can deliver a short message
and/or salutation.)